1st session of the
Permanent Forum on People of African Descent
Geneva, 5 December 2022
Statement by Portugal
Statement by H.E. Permanent Representative of Portugal to
the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva,
Ambassador Rui Macieira
Speaking time – 2’
Portugal aligns with the EU statement.
Allow me to congratulate Ms. Campbell Barr and Ms. Nkom, for your appointments as Chair and Vice-Chair of this Permanent Forum. You can count on Portugal’s support.
We thank the UN Secretary-General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Vice-President of Colombia for their opening statements.
Full and effective inclusion of all persons of African descent in the societies in which they live without discrimination of any kind must be a priority for all. Portugal is fully committed to ensure equal enjoyment of all human rights by persons of African descent. We are ready to engage constructively in this Forum to achieve concrete progress.
With the ICERD as the basis of our efforts and by finding synergies between this Permanent Forum and the Working Group, we wish to see progress in the draft UN Declaration on the Rights of People of African Descent.
Portugal was particularly involved in the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action at the UNGA as the co-facilitator of the Political Declaration, jointly with South Africa.
A year ago Portugal received a visit of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent. Its report was adopted at the HRC’s last session. We committed to study its recommendations in detail with a view to implement them.
Combatting all forms of discrimination, including racial, remains a top priority for Portugal, internationally and nationally. We are concerned by discriminatory practices still affecting persons of African descent at various levels.
Therefore, our first National Plan to Combat Racism and Discrimination (2021-2025) sought to include civil society organizations representing persons of African descent.
Portugal cosponsored the General Assembly’s resolution proclaiming 31 August as the International Day for People of African Descent and, at a national level, we elaborated a plan to promote the International Decade for People of African Descent.
We look forward to our discussions. We are ready to learn more about topics such as data collection; racism; and climate justice. We are interested to hear from civil society on their work, their lived experiences, and their suggestions on how States can further fight systemic racism in employment, housing, education, health or policing.